“We have a few clips that we’re just going to upload,” Trump told reporters in the White House briefing room Monday night before starting the film. “I think you will find them interesting. “
The president said he would answer questions after the video ends. “But most importantly, let’s go back to the reason we are here, which is the success we have,” added Trump.
What followed was a nearly four-minute video, consisting of news clips promoting or defending the president’s actions, and complete with dramatic music, graphics and visual effects. He was perhaps the clearest example to date of Trump using daily briefings to tout what he describes as his successes, rather than simply educating the public about the deadly pandemic. He said that White House staff produced the video.
Critics have accused the president of having abused news briefings, broadcast on most major television stations, by treating them as de facto campaign events. They say he tried to replace the noisy protests he was forced to cancel during the public health crisis.
The United States has the highest number of Covid-19 cases reported of any country in the world, as well as the highest number of deaths from the disease. In the United States, more than 577,300 people are infected and at least 23,232 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
“Everything we did was good,” Trump said in the briefing room after the video ended.
The text at the beginning of the clip stated that “THE MEDIA MINIMIZED THE RISK FROM THE BEGINNING”. It has given way to a handful of audio clips describing the risk of the virus in the United States as low.
After that, another text graphic stated that “CHAIRMAN TRUMP TAKEN DECISIVE ACTION. It was followed by a schedule of steps he approved in response to the spread of the virus.
Trump previously bristled with critics who argue that he and his administration have downplayed the threat of the coronavirus for too long. Some point to Trump’s false claim in late February that the number of people in the United States with Covid-19 – just a handful at the time – “in a few days is going to be close to zero.”
Trump later said he made the remark because he is a “cheerleader” for the country.
Critics also pointed to the slow adoption by the administration of generalized tests, an essential element in slowing the spread of the disease.
While audio clip plays New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman calling travel restrictions “likely effective,” black and white photos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., And candidate Apparent Democrat Joe Biden flashes on the screen.
The video also includes clips from governors, including Democrats Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gavin Newsom of California, thanking Trump for the federal aid he has approved in their states.
The president has interspersed briefings with grievances against his critics and attacks on the media – defining features of his freewheeling campaign rallies. One of the most vivid examples came in March when he went wild against NBC News reporter Peter Alexander. He asked Trump if he had anything to say to Americans who are “afraid” of the pandemic.
“I say you are a horrible reporter, that’s what I say,” said Trump, calling it a “bad question.” (Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News and CNBC).
On Monday, he tore up members of the media. He called a journalist “shameful” and “false” when he challenged her line of questions.
When pressed about his false claim that he has “full” power to end state blockages, he replied to another reporter, “Enough! “
After the video ended, Trump said, “It was done by a group at the office, and we just collected a few clips. “
When asked why he felt the need to make the video, Trump replied, “Because we get fake news and I like to get it corrected. “